Draper - What would you do with $300,000? Spend it on lavish travel? Buy a couple of cars? A house? How about pay for a medical procedure that could save your life?
In 2011, Katie Thompson née Dixon, from West Point, Utah, was diagnosed with retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the body’s soft tissues, such as the intestines. The initial cancer was discovered in her abdomen shortly after the birth of her seventh child. The tumor was removed and the family celebrated, thinking she was cancer free. Six months later, however, the cancer appeared in her lungs. Since then she has endured six different chemotherapies in an attempt to annihilate the cancer. Through her fierce fight, the volume of chemotherapy has given her a second cancer, myelodisplatic syndrome, in her bone marrow, which progresses to leukemia. Because of this second cancer, she needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life. The family is unsure if insurance will cover the costs of the transplant, so fundraisers are being held across the state in Weber, Davis and Salt Lake counties in her honor.
In May, Anything For a Friend sponsored an event in her name, raising over $100,000 with a kids fair, basket auction, bake sale and 5k. This initial fundraiser, while a grand success, was only enough to cover ⅓ of the cost of the bone marrow transplant. A car wash was held in Ogden in her honor two weeks later.
The Thompson family in 2012. Photo by Patti Deru
On June 13 the 7th annual Ride the Brainwave Fundraiser by Children and the Earth was held in Draper. The fundraiser featured Royal Bliss in concert, a motorcycle rally, a 5k race and a children’s fair. The proceeds from this fundraiser benefited over 60 children and adults with financial needs resulting from severe medical conditions, with Thompson among them. The proceeds earned for her will be another small piece in her huge financial puzzle.
Thompson is not generally a woman who wishes to draw attention to herself, but she said, “I’m so grateful for all that is being done for me and my family. We feel like there are so many kind and amazing people fighting along with us and easing our burdens. We are so grateful.”
Together with her husband Robert, she has seven children ages 16 to 4, with one who died before birth. She has never been a woman to take any challenge lying down, and cancer is no different. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, she was an avid runner and would participate in marathons as often as she could. Even after her diagnosis with cancer in her lungs that classified her a stage 4, she ran a personal best marathon. In addition to raising six children, she teaches piano and violin lessons. She said, “I adore doing that. I love music and my students and enjoy teaching my children as well.” Cancer does not define nor control her. She lives a full, and what she says, “a beautiful life.”
Jim Dixon, Thompson’s younger brother, resides in Draper. He said, “I am deeply moved by the kindness of not just friends and family, but of total strangers! So many people opened up their hearts to help Katie out. My faith in humanity didn’t need to be restored, but it was definitely reinforced throughout this fundraising process. People are amazing.”
If you wish to support Katie Thompson and her family in her fight against cancer, there is a silent auction and concert featuring The Brotherhood and Scattered Sunshine on August 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the West Point City Hall, 3200 West 300 North in West Point, UT.
You can see more on her story here:
You can donate to her cause at: